Thursday, June 5, 2014

Post-coup military courts in Thailand

The Asian Human Rights Commission has issued this statement concerning the use of military courts to try civilians in Thailand. Here is an extract:
The denial of avenues for appeal speaks to the political character of the military courts. The purpose of these courts is not in fact to try people for crimes. Actually, no trial is to be conducted at all. Rather, the courts constitute a form of administrative processing of political enemies. Their purpose is to rationalise the detention and imprisonment of accused persons: to ensure that paperwork exists to justify what are essentially arbitrary actions taken by the military on its own prerogative.
The denial of a right to appeal constitutes a violation of article 2(3)(a) of the [International] Covenant [on Civil and Political Rights], whereby the government of Thailand has undertaken “to ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity”. The bringing of a civilian before a military court in the manner set out in the Act constitutes a violation of the person’s fundamental rights under the Covenant, against which the person has no means of seeking redress.

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